Bonjour! I am so excited to share this book with you. Those of you who know me, or have followed for a while, know how much I love all things French. It’s been 10 years since my last trip, & am crossing my fingers for a Paris visit in my near future (perhaps for the big 4-0 next year?)! And judging by this video by CPG, there are a lot more veg friendly options these days! When thinking of “French Food” light, lean, plant-based & green doesn’t automatically come to my mind. I instantly think “bread, cheese, & wine,” which is all well & good from time to time, but not for the everyday indulgence. So what is a plant-based Parisienne to do, je ne sais pas?
Imagine my delight when I was asked to review Rebecca Leffler’s book “Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic~Eat (& Live!) the New French Way with Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes for Every Season.” When I read the book’s description I knew I was going to love it! Infused with seasonal & French inspired plant-based dishes, yoga sequences, beauty recipes, happy music playlists, this book has “ME” written all over it! As you can see it’s so much much more than a “cookbook,” its more like a lifestyle guide for living & eating well, with a French twist! The book is also absolutely stunning from the fonts to the photographs. It’s an absolute delight.
It’s time to say Bonjour to “Green Cuisine”— it’s the new French way to be healthy, happy, & stylish. Bien sûr! No one does food & lifestyle like the French! That’s why the French approach to clean, green eating adds a dash of flair—or a drizzle of decadence—to even the humblest of fruits, veggies, & legumes. In this cheerful, charming cookbook, Rebecca Leffler shows you how they do it. She introduces her “best friend foods” like sweet potatoes & chia, whirlwinds through an entire rainbow of juices & smoothies, & keeps the focus on fitness, food, & fun in equal measures. Globally inspired, but with lots of French accents, all 150 plant-based recipes are free of gluten, soy, & refined sugar. Plus, enjoy Rebecca’s mood-boosting tips year round: natural beauty treatments, illustrated yoga poses, & positive playlists to sing along with as you peel, mince, & stir. Say “oui” to a wealth of flavors, colors & variety, & “non” to guilt!
I love so many things about this book, but one of my favorite features is how it is organized ~ by season. We are big fans of eating naturally & aligning with the seasons over here, & believe there is simply no better way! I love to spend a Saturday afternoon looking through my cookbooks & magazines, flagging recipes & planning out meals for the week, then heading out to the Sunday farmer’s market to pick up fresh, local, seasonal goodies. With so many new & gorgeous seasonal recipes at my fingertips, I know this will be my new go-to book for meal planning! A few seasonal recipes that I am looking forward to trying are:
- Summer: Sophisticated Summer Rolls, Chilled Carrot Veloute with Cashew Creme, Summer Lovesagne Napolean, Matchia Breakfast Bowl, Socca Pizza, Strawberry Hazelnut Muffins
- Fall: Fabulous Fall Tart, Pasta Au Gratin, Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca, Beauty Bourguignon, French Lentil Salad with Beets and Spiced Vinaigrette, Apple Tart Tatin.
- Winter: Brussels Sprouts a la Pomme, Cinderella Soup, Totally Wild Stuffed Squash, Happy Hazelnut Quinoa Bowl, Le Chocolate Chaud
- Spring: Beet Rawvioli with Faux-mage, Magnifique Millet with Spring Vegetables, White Asparagus Veloute, Le “Chic” Cake (No-Bake Cheesecake).
Yuuuum! I am honored to be able to share beautiful seasonal recipe straight from the book! One of my favorite times of the year for fresh produce in summer. Just in time for the sunny summer months, I am sharing a light & healthy salad French Market style salad with you today! One of my favorite things about European cities are the fresh produce stands you find on practically every corner. I love the idea of strolling through the city, picking up an arm full of fresh greens, goods & a bundle of flowers, grabbing a fresh baguette from the boulangerie, stopping by the bottle shop for some French rosé, strolling home in the warm afternoon air, & preparing this beautiful salad to enjoy al fresco on a charming balcony with a view of the Tour d’Eiffel glistening out in the distance. This is the type of meal that is best put together with the freshest of ingredients!
- For the tuno pâté:
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup almonds
- 2 Tbsp. dried dulse
- 1 tsp. miso paste
- ½ tsp. coconut aminos or tamari
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- For the vinaigrette:
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe below)
- For the salad:
- 1 cup small red potatoes
- 1 cup green beans
- 1 large tomato
- 4 cups lettuce or mixed salad greens of choice
- ½ cup cooked white beans or drained & rinsed canned beans
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
- 2 Tbsp. black olives (preferably niçoise!), pitted & halved
- 2 tsp. capers (optional)
- To make the pâté, soak the sunflower seeds and almonds overnight or for at least 1 hour. Rinse the dulse very well with water. Pat dry with a paper towel or dishcloth or let dry in a sieve while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Rinse the sunflower seeds and almonds and add to a food processor with the other pâté ingredients, including the dulse. Pulse into a coarse consistency. Place in a small glass container and pat down well, then store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.
- Steam the potatoes (or roast at 350°F/175°C with a splash of olive oil, salt, and pepper). Steam the green beans for just a few minutes, then rinse with cold water so they maintain their crunch. Wash and slice the tomato into wedges.
- Add salad greens to a bowl and mix with half of the vinaigrette. Divide between two serving bowls. Add 1 serving of the pâté to each bowl. Divide the green beans, potatoes, white beans, and tomatoes between the bowls, arranged in separate rows next to each other.
- Top the salads with the parsley, basil, chives, olives, and capers (if using). Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the top.
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard (preferably apple cider vinegar– based)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
- Salt & pepper to taste
- ½ tsp. maple syrup (optional)
- Mix together all of the ingredients & with a whisk or spoon.
Oooh, & I could seriously dress all of my salads with this zesty vinaigrette. There simply is no need for store bought when you can whip up something fresh so easily. This salad definitely imbues Paris in the summertime! So many beautiful colors, flavors & textures to please the eyes & palate. For a salad, it’s substantial & quite satisfying so it makes for a wonderful light meal, rather than a starter. It would also make a lovely salad to pack up for a summer picnic at the park or while sitting along the Seine. One day!
I have one more special thing to offer you, my dear ones! The publisher has offered to giveaway a copy of Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic to one lucky (U.S or Canadian) reader! I absolutely adore this book & know you will too. Enter here ~
Contest ends at midnight PST on July 28th. Bon Chance!
Recipe & photos from Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic: Eat (and Live!) the New French Way with Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes for Every Season, copyright © Rebecca Leffler, 2015. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.